When to visit the Maldives
With an amazingly pleasant and consistent climate throughout the year, the best time to visit the Maldives is whenever you are ready to go. There are, however, some subtle differences from one season to the next, so we'll discuss all of that below to help you find the best time for your own Maldives holiday.
In spite of its tiny population, the Maldives is spread out over a huge section of the Indian Ocean, so the weather in the north can be different from the weather in the south on any given day. We'll discuss the generalities for the whole region here. Most private-island resorts featuring water villa resorts in the Maldives are fairly close to the capital city of Malé, but a few are quite remote, including at least one that's south of the equator.
Weather in the Maldives
Even more than most tropical islands, the weather in the Maldives barely changes from one time of the year to any other. See our main Maldives weather by month article for temperature averages and information on the mild monsoon seasons. The summary is that every day is warm and humid, and it can rain in short bursts at any time of the year, though some months are definitely wetter than others.
High season for hotels: December through April
Not only is it the “dry season” in the Maldives, but the highest demand comes from Europeans who are escaping their bitterly cold winters, so all the resorts, and especially the water villa resorts, charge the highest rates of the year during this period.
The peak season for hotels is obviously the weeks around Christmas and New Years, so it's best to book well in advance if you are coming during this period, as it's the only time of the year that pretty much every resort is full.
What about crowds?
One of the most wonderful things about visiting the Maldives is that nearly every resort is on a private island, and each island has a maximum capacity and number of rooms that insures that the beaches will never be crowded like you'll see at beaches and resort areas nearly everywhere else.
Obviously you'll get no cheapskates who pile in their car for a long drive from a cheap inland hotel to invade your resort, so once you arrive on your island resort you'll be treated like a valued guest with very few neighbors in most cases.
Best scuba diving: November to May
The Maldives is famous for excellent scuba diving all year round, but most experts agree that the most reliable times also coincide with the drier season from November through May. The quick downpours can disrupt the clear water for short periods of time, and even though they can and do happen at any time of year, you are less likely to have any interuptions during the dry season.
Off season: May through November
Resorts drop their rates in the Maldives from May through November, usually with the lowest rates during July and August, but it's not because the weather is bad, it's just that most Europeans prefer resorts closer to home during this period.
November in particular might be the best time to visit the Maldives, with the monsoons over and hotel rates still in low-season mode.
Top photo courtesy of Badruddeen on Flickr